10 Ministers sworn-in
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10 Ministers sworn-in

February 6, 2020

Mandya gets its first-ever BJP Minister K.C. Narayanagowda

Bengaluru: Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa inducted 10 BJP MLAs to his six-month-old Cabinet at a glittering ceremony held inside the Glass House of Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru this morning. They are among the 17 Congress-JD(S) MLAs who defected last year.

The much-delayed expansion came almost two-months after the MLAs won the by-polls held on Dec. 5. During the period, the defectors’ camp exerted pressure on Yediyurappa to expand the Cabinet and include all the MLAs who contested the by-polls.

The new Ministers sworn in are S.T. Somashekar (Yeshwantpur Constituency), Ra-mesh Jarkiholi (Gokak), Anand Singh (Vijayanagar-Hospet), Dr. K. Sudhakar (Chikkaballapura), Byrathi Basavaraj (K.R. Puram), A. Shivaram Hebbar (Yellapura), B.C. Patil (Hirekerur), K. Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmi Layout), K.C. Narayanagowda (K.R. Pet) and Shrimant Balasaheb Patil (Kagwad). With the induction of ten new Ministers, the strength of the Yediyurappa Cabinet rose to 27 and six more Cabinet berths remained vacant.

One of the 11 MLAs from the defectors camp, Mahesh Kumthalli was not inducted as he hailed from the same constituency (Athani) as Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi who is set to be an MLC now. 

Three others, M.T.B. Nagaraj, Adagooru H. Vishwanath and      R. Shankar are likely to be inducted in June.

Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Bala administered oaths to the new Ministers at Raj Bhavan, where hundreds of supporters came to witness the event. Authorities had also beefed up security arrangements outside Raj Bhavan for the ceremony. 

BJP seniors miffed

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Earlier, Yediyurappa was to induct 10 newly-elected MLAs and three old-timer BJP MLAs. But last evening, the BJP’s Central leadership stepped in to decide that only 10 newly-elected MLAs should be inducted after disgruntlement surfaced among BJP MLAs over former Minister C.P. Yogeeshwar’s induction. 

The decision to induct only 10 MLAs into the Cabinet has not gone down well within the BJP as its senior members and Ministerial aspirants are unhappy.

Several MLAs, led by Chief Minister’s Political Secretary M.P. Renukacharya, had raised a hue and cry over allotting berths to those who lost Assembly polls. A group of 13 to 15 MLAs had also demanded adequate representation to Kalyana Karnataka region, alleging that the new Cabinet had excess representation from few districts of Karnataka, such as Bengaluru Urban and Belagavi.

Chief Minister, several Cabinet Ministers, including Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai, PWD Minister Govind Karajol, BJP MLAs, Karnataka Chief Secretary Vijaybhaskar, senior Police officers were among those present on the occasion.

Mandya gets first BJP Minister

With the induction of K.R. Pet MLA K.C. Narayanagowda as a Minister in Yediyurappa Cabinet, Mandya, a JD(S) bastion, has got its first BJP Minister. 

The BJP created history in Mandya district, known as a fortress of the JD(S), with Narayanagowda’s victory. With the victory, Mandya district rewarded its son Yediyurappa as he was born in Bookanakere in Mandya. The Ministership of Narayanagowda has raised the hopes of the development of the district, known as Sugar Bowl.

It was important for the BJP to destroy the JD(S) bastion that had won all the seven seats in the district in 2018 Assembly elections. With the party’s poor organisational base, lack of elected representatives in local bodies, K.R. Pet was a challenge for Yediyurappa and his son B.Y. Vijayendra.

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Now with Narayanagowda occupying the Minister’s place, it remains to be seen how BJP will make further inroads in the JD(S) stronghold.

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